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The Blind’s Sides

1 Feb

Part of our new window project involves deciding on new window treatments. We have a few ideas that will improve the look in the bedrooms since all that was there previously were cheap vinyl Venetian blinds. Functional, but not fun.

The living room/dining room were the first decor projects we tackled when we moved in a few years ago. On the living room window we had installed 2″ faux wood blinds with custom curtain panels on the sides. We still love the look and want to keep the same treatments.

The new windows have the same layout and overall width, but the individual window sizes are different. The side windows are more narrow than the originals, and the picture window in the middle is wider. Continue reading

Aaand…. DONE!

28 Jan

Today was supposed to be the big finishing touch – the gutter installation. Again, I sprung out of bed nice and early to move my car, and again no one showed.. Around 10AM there was a knock on the door. Not the gutter guys, but the dumpster guy! He’d come to collect his loot (dumpster). While I was more than thrilled to see that filthy beast gone, I was hoping to have it around another day or so to toss some random junk we have around the house.

Nevertheless, this was a very happy sight:

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Windows: Day 6 Finale!

17 Jan

The windows are finally done!! They were actually supposed to be done yesterday, but redoing the moldings set the crew back a bit. Today the plaster guy showed up bright and early. He slapped on one layer and was on his way. The other guys did the finishing touches of clipping in the window grills, installing the screens, and adding the hardware. Fortunately, they were done by lunchtime, and I was able to spend the rest of the day dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and swiffering the house, and putting the house back together.

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Windows: Day 5 and a Phase 3 Sneak Attack!

16 Jan

When I woke up this morning, it was looking gray and a bit rainy. Figuring the window guys would either be super late as usual or not show up at all, I took my time getting up. Before jumping in the shower though, I moved my car just in case there was more siding material to be delivered. Good thing I did! By 8:45, not only was there more siding material, but there were also guys here ready to start working!!

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Windows: Day 4 Round Up

15 Jan

Day 4 started quite late, for the guys at least…

I jumped out of bed at 7AM when I heard what I thought was a truck delivering the siding for Phase 3 of our reno. After darting around trying to figure out where the sound of a truck beeping was coming from, I realized it was probably something else down the street and not here to deliver. I hopped back in bed to wait until my 8:00 alarm went off. When it did, I hopped up again, this time into the shower so I’d be ready if the guys showed up early/on time since Jer was at work today. I was done around 8:30, and had even gone out to move my car. Good thing I did, because the siding actually did show up this morning. I was having my coffee when I heard what I thought was the guys, but found a siding delivery going on instead.

Siding Delivery

Siding Delivery

The guys FINALLY showed up (all 3 of them today) around 11, and worked until 5PM. Today the kitchen window was installed so quickly I didn’t get a shot without any window in place. Originally the kitchen had casement windows which opened out right over the deck where we do our grilling, so despite being on the newer side (1990s, as opposed to 1950s), they needed to be replaced too. We also went with a double hung window here, but a bit shorter to allow for a backsplash, and to match the height and length of the other kitchen window.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen During

Kitchen During

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

They’ve also been busy installing sheetrock to fill in where the wall was removed as most of the windows are smaller than what was originally there. After the sheetrock went in, the moldings started going up, also at a quick pace. The kitchen got its moldings too, before we were able to and fill in the spaces with Great Stuff. There weren’t any huge gaps like some of the other windows, so it’s not the worst thing that we didn’t get to fill them.

5 Windows Almost Done

5 Windows Almost Done

The moldings are pretty close to what we requested, though not exactly. For reference, the guys were using the kitchen window we installed ourselves with our custom molding job. Using off the rack pieces, they tried to match our custom work. There’s been great confusion on what to use as the bottom piece under the sill. When Jer did it, he got creative with the router and thus everyone who’s looked at it has been totally confused on how to match the piece…. The final solution today was to just use a flat piece of wood. I was hoping to be presented with a more creative option, that still stayed with the simplicity of the molding style, but this was the best they could come up with. After some discussion, I think, they will be rounding the edges off a bit so the piece doesn’t have a squared edge. Apparently they’re not doing the bottom pieces today, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Jer's work

There was a little overlap in the work in the bedrooms today, and in the process of trying to relocate Ishi, one of the guys who was trying to “help” got a stern hissing by a puffy-tailed kitty with flattened ears. She ended up coming out of her room briefly, then went back in and under the bed while work was going on in both rooms.. Eventually they were done in the middle bedroom. When she finally emerged from under the bed, I was able to get her back to the safety of the middle bedroom, although I think she’d prefer to skulk around the house checking things out!

Windows: Day 3 Round Up

13 Jan

Day 3 – Unseasonably warm and sunny! Quite a change from Friday’s weather. The guys must have been feeling ambitious today after having 3 days off, and showed up so early that I was still in the shower! Fortunately, Jer was home today and had already moved our cars.

LR Window Before

LR Window Before

Demolition of our window boxes....

Demolition of our window boxes….

Since he was home today, Jer was also able to help the guys with the rather large front window. Still down a guy, they have been afraid to tackle it themselves. It’s 3 windows (double-hung windows on the sides with a non-opening picture window in the middle) that come together as one piece, and therefore is extremely heavy. Teddy, the project supervisor (and main guy we’ve been working with) showed up just in time for the big lift today, so there were actually four people involved in lifting this beast up.

Living Room During

Living Room During

Living Room Finished

Living Room Finished Before Lunch!

Living Room Exterior - Sadly our window boxes now are gone...

Living Room Exterior – Sadly our window boxes now are gone…

After the living room was finished the guys broke for lunch, then came back to tackle the office/current guest room/Ishi’s room. The lil guy needed to be relocated to our room, which she wasn’t thrilled about, and was super curious to know what was going on outside the room…

An under the door shot of Ishi peeking out trying to see what's going on!

An under the door shot of Ishi peeking out trying to see what’s going on!

The two corner windows were a pretty standard install, but they took the rest of the day to install. These windows (like the others that were replaced) were in pretty rough shape. The right one didn’t even fully close, and the top corner was actually being sealed with packing tape!

Office - Before

Office – Before

Office During

Office During

Office Finished

Office Finished

At the end of the day, they had installed the three windows, leaving the kitchen one and the moldings for tomorrow/Wednesday. After they were finished working and left, we let Foreman Ishi out to explore and check on their progress.

Looking good, but again gotta make sure these windows are well sealed.

Looking good, but again gotta make sure these windows are well sealed!

And Ishi is right about the sealing of the windows. Their method apparently is to stuff some shredded pink insulation into the openings around the window, which will really accomplish nothing, so Jer got a few cans of Great Stuff and got to work filling in the gaps.

Windows: End of Day 2; and Another Weather Delay

10 Jan

Day 2 again ended around 4:30PM. The guys were moving at a pretty good clip, and I was really hoping to keep the momentum going today, but when I woke up this morning to a wintery mix and a white, icy deck, I had a feeling  progress would be coming to a halt. Once it hit 9:30 and the guys weren’t here, I figured we were off for today. Around 10, I decided I’d finally have some breakfast since there was no sign of anyone. Moments before pouring the milk into my cereal the doorbell rang. (I figured sitting down for an “uninterrupted” breakfast would get someone to show…)

There was a lot of hemming and hawing about whether or not to work today and/or tomorrow, because where these guys come from there are no weather reports. One must come to the magical land of Glen Cove, where us townsfolk can do mystical things such as know what the weather will be like for the next 5 to 10 days, depending on which type of sorcery (iPhone app) we employ. After double checking my crystal ball, I informed them that the weather wasn’t going to get much better today, and that tomorrow, while it will be freakishly warm, will be pouring. Long, rambling story short, we’re on a weather delay until Monday.

Back to yesterday… After the master bedroom was finished, the guys took a lunch break, then came back to do the middle bedroom and the bathroom. The office has two windows, and they didn’t think they’d be able to get 3 done after lunch. (Since there’s only 7 hours in a day.)

First up, the middle bedroom. The window going in was basically the same size and shape, and was going in the same position.

Before - Middle Bedroom

Before – Middle Bedroom

Middle with Invisible Man Carpenter

The Invisible Man pitched in today!

Finished Middle Bedroom

Finished Middle Bedroom

Next (and last of the day) the bathroom – also being replaced with the same size and in the same position. However, when the bathroom got a facelift from whatever it looked like in the 50s when the house was built (presumably some sort of small tile flooring, and an odd color of square ceramic tile on the walls), the window installed was a cheap vinyl replacement window. The new window is wood, as are the rest of the windows in the house, and now has a bit more glass area than the previous vinyl. The old window also had a textured lower panel for privacy. The new window does not, and it’s a bit like showering al fresco. We’ll need to address that before our next outdoor party!

Bathroom Before (the window is open here, the privacy panel is usually on the bottom)

Bathroom Before (the window is open, the privacy panel is usually on the bottom)

During Bathroom Install

During Bathroom Install

Finished Bathroom

Finished Bathroom

After a long day spent hiding under the bed, Ishi was allowed to come out of the guest room. .

Ishi's Safe Place

Ishi’s Safe Place

She wasted no time, and got right to work on quality checks!

Inspector Ishi

Inspector Ishi

Thorough Sniff Test

Thorough Sniff Test

Her conclusion, looking good so far, but they best be making sure these windows are good and properly sealed before they’re done (an issue I addressed with one of the boss guys today.)

Windows: End of Day 1; Start of Day 2

9 Jan

Work wrapped up around 4:30PM yesterday, and the most involved window install of the job is mostly complete. I will admit the window does look rather small, but once the trim is completed it should look a little more substantial. This is the wall our bed will go on, and the window is actually the same width as our bed. We also have a pretty substantial headboard we built that will be going under the window. It’s actually so substantial that it will need to be cut down a bit to fit under the window, despite how high the window looks.

Amazing action shot by Jer of the cutout for the new side window.

Amazing action shot by Jer of the wall being cut out for the new side window.

Removal of the side master bedroom window.

Removal of the side master bedroom window. (Blue tape marks the spot for the new window.)

Finished Side MBR

Finished Side MBR

This morning work resumed at around 9:30AM. The first window going in today is the front one in the master bedroom. These windows are traditional double-hung, with a nifty tilt wash feature, where both pieces tilt in for easy cleaning. Similar to the awning window, it’s two windows, but comes as one piece.

Before Front MBR

Before Front MBR

Filling in the bottom portion of the front window.

Filling in the bottom portion of the front window.

The front window will be the same width as what was originally there, but the length is shorter by about 10″, allowing us to place furniture in front of the window without it being blocked.  The lower portion will need to be filled in and insulated, which means this window won’t be the fastest install either. Shouldn’t take as long as the awning window, so hopefully, they’ll  also be able to do one of the bedrooms today.

EDIT: Just as I was about to publish this post, they finished the front window!! Next up, the middle bedroom, (our current “master BR”), which will be our guest room. I’m currently blogging from the office (our current guest room/office/Ishi room), and I’m thinking I (and Ishi who’s hiding under the bed) will to have to vacate sooner than expected!

Finished Front Master Bedroom Window

Finished Front Master Bedroom Window

Phase 2: Windows! (Day 1)

8 Jan

After yesterday’s weather-related delay, we’re finally moving on to Phase 2 of our exterior renovations. The windows!!

All the windows in the house (with the exception of the one we installed ourselves in the kitchen when we closed off the door) are being replaced by Andersen 400 Series windows.

Exterior Before

Exterior Windows to be replaced.

First up today is the master bedroom’s west facing wall (upper right corner picture above). This is the biggest project as we are closing the window that’s there & replacing it with a centered awning window.

Old window location & marking for new window

Old window location & marking for new window.

photo 3

Awning window for blue taped location.

By lunchtime they had the old window removed and covered, a frame built to support the ceiling, and the new header for the new window.

Lunchtime!

Lunchtime!